Monday, January 14, 2013
Ancient Temple, Young Vines
It was the ancient Greeks who brought their viticultural know-how to Sicily beginning in the 8th century BC, when they first began to colonize the island. About 45 minutes southwest of Palermo in the town of Segesta stands a magnificent Doric temple. It was built in the 5th century BC by Greek (or possibly Elymian) settlers who were at war with the Greek colony of Selinunte to the south. The golden limestone temple - one of the best preserved anywhere in the Mediterranean - stands all alone. It appears to the first-time visitor as a classical mirage. We initially saw the Temple of Segesta together in 2008. As we climbed the stairs, we glimpsed the green rows of young vines carpeting Monte Pispisa in the distance. There was no forgetting that this is no modern-day wine road.